Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Ben Bernake chainsaw painting incident

I accept that many apparent coincidences really are nothing but coincidences, devoid of magic or spiritual connotation, but I still appreciate them.

Today I had a lunch meeting with Kim Richardson regarding an art show she is staging this Friday. She asked me to pin up some of my sketches at this thing. I wanted help picking out which sketches and a tutorial in extracting pages from a sketchbook without destroying the sketchbook or marring the pages I am trying to extract.

As I was leaving the newsroom, I saw that Dana Smith had included my hotmail address on a group emailing about an update to his art website. It was a new painting, "jesse irwin chainsawing a painting by steven smith of ben bernanke (art attack event)," which I have posted above. I looked forward to looking at the painting online after I got with Kim.

I got with Kim, at The Royale. She said a razor blade or an X-acto knife would do the trick with the sketch extraction. I pulled the coat of proprietor Steve Fitxpatrick Smith. Did he have a razor blade or X-acto knife? These being items that slash other things, of course he had them. He produced an X-acto knife.

He lingered and chatted with us after the knife hand off. He could see what was up with the sketchbook and the need for the knife. He volunteered that he had been looking through his own high school sketchbooks recently, musing on a contribution to Art Attack. He said he was struck by some of his choice of subjects, like Dan Quayle holding a stingray missile launcher backwards. He said a similar trip down sketchbook memory lane had inspired last year's Art Attack contribution, a portrait of Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke.

I said I would like to see such a sketch. He said that would be impossible, given that Jesse Irwin had chainsawed it in half last year.

Oh, yeah. That's odd, I thought. And said, "I just got an email about that." This is not profound spiritual truth or the heavens opening up to show you the way with a luminous finger. But still, it's pretty cool.

No comments: